Is there still a stigma for girls who enjoy sex?

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The short answer to this question is that - sadly - yes, there is still very much a stigma for women who are open about the fact that they enjoy sex. This applies only to women, it should be noted. It is seen as normal for a man to enjoy having sex: if a man boasts of how many women he has slept with, then he is seen as a stud, something positive. If he is still a virgin, meanwhile, then he is made to feel ashamed of himself. This situation is inverted for girls: as far as women are concerned, our culture celebrates virginity and dismisses women who enjoy sex as "sluts".

The good news is that, slowly but surely, this is starting to change. Many feminists have condemned the practice of "slut-shaming", in which a woman is criticised because she likes sex, revealing clothes and heavy make-up. To these feminists, a woman should feel free to dress and behave in a sexual manner if she feels comfortable doing so - she should never be made to feel ashamed of enjoying sex in the same way that men do.

This has led to a certain trend for feminist-oriented "slut pride". For example, you may have heard of slut walks, in which women don skimpy clothing and go on the march to show that they have no reason to feel ashamed of what they are. Many women in the third-wave feminist movement celebrate make-up, short skirts and other such elements as a part of female culture that should be embraced, not shunned; it is easy to see how this approach bleeds in to the current vogue for slut pride.

At the moment, it is uncertain exactly what direction this trend will head in. We could well be seeing a world in which false eyelashes, micro skirts and midriff tops become quintessential markers of feminism and women's liberation. On the other hand, our society may come to accept the entirely true fact that such items from just one part of a typical woman's wardrobe; she may want to become a "slut" one day and a squeaky-clean office worker the next. Everybody has multiple faces - that is the simple nature of humanity.

In conclusion, if you are a woman who enjoys sex and perhaps likes to take to the town in revealing clothes every now and again, then it is true that you may find yourself facing a stigma for acting in a "slutty" manner. However, change is in the wind, and you will also find a large number of other women who sympathise fully with your sex-positive attitude towards life. Even if you face prejudice, you should always remember that men who behave the same way as you are not shamed by our society. Why, then, should you be?

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